Reston Community Center has announced the lineup its 2021-22 Professional Touring Artist Series.
After a truncated season with limited audiences last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series will bring a variety of musicians, theatrical performances, and speakers to a full-capacity CenterStage starting in September.
“It is our great pleasure to welcome our audiences back to the CenterStage,” RCC Arts and Events Director Paul Douglas Michnewicz said in a press release. “Whether you are seeking an escape from your troubles with sublime dance or want to be inspired by thought leaders or you just need to laugh, the Professional Touring Artist Series has something for everyone to enjoy.”
With seating limited by Virginia’s restrictions on indoor entertainment venues, RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon says the community center was still able to host some artists and speakers last season, including the folk/rock band Trout Fishing in America, jazz violinist Regina Carter, and actor BD Wong, whose talk coincided with the 2021 Reston Pride Festival in June.
Many artists who were unable to come to Reston still sent video messages that RCC posted to its YouTube channel, and some were rescheduled for this upcoming season.
Gordon says RCC has seen attendance at its shows pick up since late spring, but even in June, a good day would be one with an audience of 100 people for a show that normally might’ve filled up the 260-seat CenterStage auditorium.
“We are keeping our hopes high that widespread vaccination will continue to offer protection that will help artists and audiences return safely to the CenterStage this season,” Gordon said.
Unless otherwise noted, all shows are held at CenterStage, which is located at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets go on sale for Reston residents and employees on August 1 at 1 p.m. Sales open to the general public on August 8 at 1 p.m.
The full schedule for this season is below:
Mutts Gone Nuts, A Comedy Dog Act
- Sept. 19, 3-7 p.m.
- $10 Reston/$15 Non-Reston
- Expect the unexpected, as canines and comedy collide in a smash hit performance that’s leaving audiences everywhere howling for more.
National Heritage Award Fellows at the Reston Multicultural Festival
- Sept. 25, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Lake Anne Plaza; free, all ages
- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) National Heritage Fellowships are the nation’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts. This year’s fellows, who will be recognized at the annual Reston Multicultural Festival, are Rev. Paschall & Company and The Chuck Brown Band.
The Seldom Scene
- Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
- $25 Reston/$35 Non-Reston
- What does it take for a bluegrass band to remain popular for more than four decades? For The Seldom Scene, it has taken talented musicians, a signature sound and a solid repertoire, as well as a delightful sense of fun.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, three people ranging in ages from 20 to 37 years old approached the victims’ car near the Hunters Woods area around 11:04 p.m. and demanded money. One person entered the car and took cash before all three people ran away.
Officers found the three individuals, all of them Reston residents, in an adjacent neighborhood with the assistance of a police helicopter, FCPD confirms to Reston Now. They were detained and charged with robbery.
The 2200 block of Winterthur Court is the same location as where Santos Antonio Trejo Lemus, 40, of Reston, was shot and killed in March while walking near his home. Police have yet to identify the man who shot Lemus beyond saying that the person was male.
FCPD has offered a cash reward of $2,000 for tips and information related to the homicide.
The FCPD says it does not have any new information to release at the moment about the murder, and the department is still asking anyone who has information to call police or submit tips anonymously.
A reader who alerted Reston Now about last night’s police activity said that they were driving up Reston Parkway at around 11:20 p.m. when they saw parked police cars with their lights flashing at several intersections, including Glade Drive, South Lakes Drive, and Colts Neck Road.
They also noted that a helicopter was circling overhead in the Hunters Woods and Reston National Golf Course areas.
Neighborhood safety dominated a virtual town hall by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn last night.
The town hall was called to discuss the ways in which the Fairfax County Police Department is acting to keep the Hunters Woods neighborhood safe in the wake of an active homicide investigation, as well as a growing concern from the community regarding the increase in gunshot reports around Reston and the Hunters Woods neighborhood.
FCPD Capt. Thea Pirnat discussed that while there is an increased number of gunshot reports in the area, that doesn’t necessarily mean there are increased gunshots — it could mean that the community is doing a better job reporting data. However, the Reston District Police Department is still working to increase police visibility in the neighborhood to deter crime.
The department is also increasing patrols in the neighborhood through a crime suppression team, according to Lt. Marc Mitchell. The department has also been sending out bike patrols as an increased presence to help build trust and rapport with the community members.
2nd Lt. Erin Weeks discussed the current status of the homicide investigation, urging the community to come forward with tips or reports to help guide the active investigation. Weeks said that the detectives are actively following up on ledes and that she is “confident that we are going to solve this case.”
Jose Lorenzo Guillen Mejia, 24, of Reston, was found dead near a walking trail in the summer of 2019 near a wooded area between Hunters Woods Plaza and Breton Court. Mejia was found with trauma to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene.
PFC Katy Defoe, the Crime Prevention Officer at the Reston District Station, encouraged community members to pay more attention to their surroundings as they go about their daily lives so they can act as good witnesses if necessary.
Defoe also presented a series of contacts organized with the Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition that community members can keep in mind in emergent or non-emergent situations, including:
- Police non-emergency line: 703-691-2131
- Embry Rucker Center Outreach Worker for unsheltered medical attention: 571-323-1399
- Mental health crisis assistance: 703-573-5679
- Fairfax Detoxification Center: 703-502-7000
PFC Brandi Horita, Reston District Station’s Community Liason Officer, also discussed cityprotect.com and the Fairfax County Crime Solvers program as two resources for community members to watch police activity and to promote awareness and crime prevention strategies.
Another virtual town hall will be taking place on Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. with more details to come.
Screenshot from the Hunters Woods Town Hall/YouTube
Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition and the Fairfax County Police Department Crime and Prevention Unit are planning to clean the Reston Association trails and Hunters Woods Village Center later this month.
The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the event description said.
Volunteers are asked to meet at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road), wearing gloves, sturdy shoes, and dressed appropriately for the weather – rain or shine.
Further questions can be emailed to Katy Defoe, [email protected]
Photo via Reston Community Center/Facebook
Reston Association’s proposal to repurpose the Hunters Woods Ball into a more welcoming community area is moving forward.
The association is working with Kimley-Horn Associates to activate the site. A pathway is proposed around the perimeter of the site, along with a walkway that cuts through the area.
“The purpose is to activate the site and make it more usable and interesting to the surrounding neighborhoods,” RA wrote in its proposal.
Community features like a rain garden, library book share, landscaping, and a mile marker sign are also proposed on the site.
The plan heads to RA’s Design Review Board for a vote on tomorrow (Tuesday). Because the proposal impacts a significant area of the site, a minor site plan is required for approval.
RA worked with neighboring property owners and associations to move forward with the project.
In written testimony submitted to the DRB, the Hunters Woods Village Condominium Association voiced its full support for the project.
“The repurposed ballfield can be a great example of RA listening to its neighborhoods and moving forward smartly,” wrote Julia Doherty.
Doherty added that the proposed design makes good use of the area’s natural beauty and creates a welcome educational space near a stormwater collection area. The proposed walkway also gives residents more options to walk in the area beyond the parking lot of the condominium.
The complete proposal is available online.
Photo via handout/RA
Plans to reactivate the Hunters Woods Ballfield — which is behind Reston Community Center — are moving forward after Reston Association’s Board of Directors approved a conceptual plan at a meeting last night (Thursday).
RA is working with community stakeholders, including the Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition, to reactive the site, which is no longer used by Reston-Herndon Little League due to its long distance from the nearest parking lot.
The conceptual plan, developed with the help of architecture firm Kimley-Horn, would repurpose the area into common open space with a pathway, entrance to the field, additional trees and landscaping. More features would be installed during later phases, including:
- A library book share
- Sledding hill
- Imprinted concrete
- Perennial garden
- Mile marker sign
“We want to build that excitement,” said Larry Butler, RA’s Chief Operating Officer. Butler said local stakeholders are excited about the project.
The board authorized funds last year to repurpose the ballfield. Plan to install additional pathway lighting in the area — which were originally presented alongside the repurposing proposal — is expected to come before an RA committee next month.
With the board’s approval secured, the plan will be presented to Fairfax County planners and RA’s Design Review Board.
A cost estimate for the project was not immediately available, but surveying, engineering and permitting could cost around $25,00, Butler said. Grading will require a minor site plan.
RA Board President Julie Bitzer described the proposal as a “passive park.”
Reston Association’s Board of Directors will meet today (Thursday) to discuss a concept plan for the Hunters Woods Ballfield and plans to reopen pools for this year’s season.
The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.
Design consultant Kimley-Horn created several concept images to repurpose the Hunters Woods ballfield, which is located behind Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Design sketches show the space would largely be maintained as open space, with the addition of trees and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.
The Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition is encouraging RA to repurpose the ball field, which is no longer used by the Reston-Herndon Little League. So far, a pathway lighting project north of the Hunters Woods Village Center is under consideration, with roughly 16 light poles at a cost of $100,000.
The board could approve a concept plan, which would then be considered by RA’s Design Review Board and county planners. More details are expected at the meeting.
Police have made an arrest nearly one year after a body was found near the Hunters Woods Village Center.
A teenager has been charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of a Reston man.
Detectives believe the 17-year-old suspect was involved in the 2019 murder of Jose Lorenzo Guillen Mejia.
His body was found by police officers on June 23 at around 1:45 a.m. Police responded to the scene after a reporting of gunshots along a walking trail between Hunters Woods Plaza and Breton Court.
An autopsy found that Mejia died from several gunshot wounds.
The arrest was made after police obtained a felony petition for first degree murder yesterday (Tuesday).
The suspect was already incarcerated at the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center for an unrelated offense when he was served the petition.
The Reston Association is seeking several candidates for seats on its Board of Directors for the upcoming election in March.
There are currently four open positions on the board for 2020 and include two at-large positions, an apartment owners’ seat and the Hunters Woods/Dogwood District seat.
One of the at-large positions is for a one-year term while the other is for a three-year term.
Candidates must be a Reston Association member to qualify for a position and announce their candidacy by Jan. 24. People can email RA if they have questions.
There will be a meeting on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Reston Association Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive) for anyone interested in candidacy.
Photo via YouTube/Reston Association
A new volunteer tradition aims to keep the Hunters Woods neighborhood clean.
The first annual Hunters Woods Clean-Up Day will take place on Sunday (Nov. 3) beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Hunters Woods Fellowship House (2231 Colts Neck Road). Volunteers will improve the appearance of the neighborhood, according to the event’s Facebook page.
The event is sponsored by the Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition, which will provide the supplies for volunteers including gloves and trash bags.
During the event, volunteers will clean neighboring areas ranging from Hunters Woods at Trails Edge to Hunters Woods Village Condominiums.
All community members are welcome to swing by help the cause.
After the event, snacks and hot drinks will be provided for volunteers, according to the event page.
Image via Google Maps
The public unveiling is set for Wednesday (October 16) from 6-7 p.m. The free event will also includes ice cream.
The underpass is accessible from Hunters Woods Village Center and from Hunters Woods at Trails Edge. Parking is available at Hunters Woods Village Center.
The piece is titled “Thoreau’s Ensemble.” Ben Volta, the Philadelphia-based artist behind the work, was inspired by poet Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reference.”
Volta asked community members and residents to draw a path and add components that make Reston stimulating and worthwhile.
The final design was by approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board earlier this year. The project is made possible through a partnership with Public Art Reston, Atlantic Realty Companies, and RA.
Photo via Public Art Reston
The field, which is located behind Reston Community Center, is no longer used by the Reston-Herndon Little League due to its distance from the nearest parking lot.
RA’s Board of Directors approved a motion to reallocate funds previously approved for pathway lighting at a meeting last Thursday (Sept. 26) to design, study and implement the project.
In tandem, RA plans to install 16 lights near the village center and the ball field. The roughly $100,000 project uses $81,300 in proffer commitment funds from the developer of Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, a senior living community on Colts Neck Road. The proffer is designated specifically for path lighting and cannot be used for any other purpose.
Larry Butler, RA’s Chief Operating Officer, said staff will work with the community to brainstorm possible ideas for the ball field. The Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition — which has long advocated for pathway lighting to improve safety in the area — requested that RA examine the issue.
“We could do a lot of things there,” Butler said, adding the plan is in its early phases.
In a July 19 letter, the county’s planning staff indicating the ball field is classified as open space, which is designed for scenic or recreational purposes.
Meanwhile, RA is working with Dominion Energy to develop preliminary design plans for the pathway lighting project. The latest plan — which Butler said addresses the “area of most concern” — is a scaled-back version of a 2014 plan to install 52 lights, which faltered due to limited funding.
The cost of the study is unclear, especially because RA will likely engage with a design architect to determine constraints on the site, including utility polls, Butler said.
The preliminary design calls for 16 LED, shoebox lights likely spread out by about 80 feet. The original plans did not call for LED lights.
Once plans are in place, the project will head to RA’s Design Review Board for a discussion and a vote.
A local artist will debut her floral quilts and fiber art at a new exhibit in Reston next week.
Anne Smyers is the creator of “Sat It With Flowers,” an art installation that embodies her “love of flowers and propensity to work with botanical images,” according to the Reston Community Center event page.
The installation opens Monday, Sept. 16, and runs until Oct. 31 at RCC Hunter Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
“Her work is informed by interests, including gardening; a lifelong practice of tai chi chuan, which is a Chinese meditative movement series; and her artistic eye that looks for the best arrangement of a given set of elements,” RCC said.
A free reception will be held from 2-4 p.m. next Sunday, Sept. 22, at RCC Hunter Woods. Smyers will speak at the event, where there will be refreshments for attendees.
Photo via Twitter/Studio Art Quilts
At a public meeting on Monday (July 29), local police turned to the community for help as it investigates a suspicious death that happened behind Hunters Woods Plaza in late June.
Local law enforcement and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins met with the community Monday night to discuss the ongoing investigation.
Jose Lorenzo Guillen Mejia, 24, of Reston, was found dead near a walking trail on Sunday, June 24 near a wooded area between Hunters Woods Plaza and Breton Court. Mejia was found with trauma to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Remember, the information you have, regardless of how trivial it may be, could be the critical link in solving this case,” according to handouts distributed during the meeting.
Police encouraged anyone with information about the incident to contact the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800. Tips can be submitted by calling 1-866-311-TIPS or by texting “TIP187 plus the messages CRIMES.”
Photo via handout/FCPD
Police are investigating a suspicious death after a man’s body was found near the Hunters Woods Shopping Plaza.
Fairfax County Police found the body after responding to a call about shots fired around 1:45 am. on Sunday.
The body was found in the woods near a walking trail. No other information was immediately available.
Photo via FCPD/Twitter